Archive | April 2014

Trees and Simple Faith

Great post on keeping our faith simple! Check out some of the other things Don writes as well! Love his blogs!

Life Project Blog

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Many have said that the simple things in life are the best.  Simple things don’t  cost much, usually aren’t flashy and are seldom mentioned in the newspapers…  Things like devotion to duty, love of family, faith in God and serving others are the kinds of things that make life worth living…

Our Lord taught us that to love Him is to obey His commands (John 14:23) and at first glance this might seem difficult.  The truth is that it isn’t very difficult at all; it only requires simple and uncomplicated faith.  If we have simple faith to believe His teachings, than obeying Him is an easy burden to bear.

Faith is not complicated, it has no ulterior motive and it isn’t self promoting; it just boils down to a loving response to His loving act of saving us from death.  Simple faith is uncomplicated because we are relieved of the…

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The Snail Made It!

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By perseverance the snail reached the ark.
Charles Spurgeon

Lately, the word perseverance has crept into my life from various sources like Bible readings, etc.  I decided to do a bit of a word study since there is obviously a good reason for the Lord to have that word popping up over and over. I searched my Bible first, of course and then on the internet.   As I was looking at the word on the internet–its definition,quotes, etc., I came immediately upon the quote above from Charles Spurgeon about the snail and that is where I got the title of my post from.  The quote made me smile because I can relate with that snail!  That is exactly how I feel at times when I want to accomplish something, like a very slow-moving snail, wondering if I will ever succeed at whatever it might be that I am trying to do.

So what is perseverance?  The dictionary gives two definitions.  The first, the secular definition, is “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success”.  The second definition it calls the Christian definition.  “Persistence in remaining in a state of grace until death”.    The actress Julie Andrews simply defines it this way:  “Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th!”    That makes sense to me!  There are a very large number of quotes from different folks regarding perseverance, too many to share here but you might find it fun to Google them.

I thought about why the Lord has me thinking so much about perseverance of late and the first thing that came to my mind was my recovery and rehab from knee surgery.  He is reminding me and encouraging me in what I need to do for my surgery  to have had the very best, most successful outcome.  Persevere!  Keep working every day at the exercises and walking–especially practicing walking correctly, not stiff-legged like I did before.  There are times when it would be easy to tell myself I am too tired or it hurts too much today and any number of other excuses I know I could come up with.  After all, I am the master at finding excuses to put off until tomorrow what I should do today!  I’ve joked at times that my parents misnamed me–my middle name is Marie but it should have been procrastinator!   🙂  The Lord knows that all too well I am sure, so He is going to keep reminding me often I am sure!

As I searched through the Bible I found several verses that talk about perseverance and along with it in some cases, patience.  I feel like the two words go together.  One of the best examples of perseverance and patience together we can find in the book of Job.  Everyone is familiar with the phrase “the patience of Job”.  In James 5:11 NIV it says 11 As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”    Somewhere else  I read another explanation of perseverance that states it is endurance produced by trials and tribulations when we exercise faith.  I would say that Job fits that definition most definitely.  He suffered through many things but he never gave up.  His faith in God kept him going; he had an inordinate amount of patience as well as perseverance!

Another who comes to mind is the Apostle Paul, who also suffered many, many trials and tribulations in his life, yet he wrote in his letter to the Romans the following:

Romans 5: 3-5  New International Version (NIV)

Not only so, but we[a] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

There are many other examples in the Bible of course but Job and Paul really stand out to me and grab my attention.  If they can go through all the things they suffered and still persevere then why should it be so difficult for me or any of us to do the same?

Along with perseverance and patience, we must include prayer.  In Ephesians 6:18 it says “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— “.  In my NKJV bible there was a note that said simply that without prayer, all the armor in the world would be of no use.  Perseverance and patience in prayer are essential.

I could go on and on with all the references I found about perseverance, patience, prayer and self-control as well, but I won’t at this time. One of the important things I gained from my short study  is that a person who exercises perseverance will not easily fall into discouragement or be tempted to quit.    The secret of perseverance?  View all circumstances as coming from the hand of our loving Father who is in control of everything in our lives.   I find it very encouraging that God is always in control and that He will help me to persevere in the things I do.   If the snail could make it to the ark, then I should be able to carry out my goals as well.

Oh and I just had to add in this little quote I found by an unknown source that I thought was kind of funny really.  The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one often comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.

Have a wonderful day filled with all of God’s blessings my friends!  Thanks for taking time to read my post today!  You are all a blessing to me.

 

And She’s Walking! an update on my recovery

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No I’m not quite walking like this cute little doggy yet!  Got a way to go!

Several of you have inquired how I have been doing with my recovery from total knee replacement surgery on March 13th so I thought I should take a few minutes to update folks that I am alive and kicking–slowly!   I appreciate the inquiries and all the thoughts and prayers while I have been recovering.  How amazing it is to know there are people on 4 or 5 continents praying for me and wishing me well!  How awesome is that?   It boggles my mind.   Thank you all!!!

So for the update..It’s been three and a half weeks and I have been seeing a physical therapist at my home 3 times a week and then down to 2 times a week.  She is very pleased with my progress and so Thursday will be the last time she comes to visit.  I just need to continue with the exercises and practice walking correctly – not stiff-legged like I did previously due to the knee condition and increasing the distances I walk.   Around home I am mostly walking on my own without assistance or very little assistance, meaning not using a walker or cane.   Swelling has diminished a lot!  It was nice yesterday to actually get into a pair of my jeans for the day instead of wearing sweats and exercise pants all the time.  Have a bit more to go with that but it is to be expected.  My range of motion is almost completely normal as far as straightening my leg and perfectly normal when I bend my knee.  

With the lovely change in the weather, I have been able to get outdoors a few times and in fact, yesterday, I walked much further than I have in a very long time—without pain!!!!   yayyyyyy!!!    Outdoors I still have the walker but I am not relying on it; it’s just there in case I need to lean on it.  That will soon be packed away in a closet.  My goal is to walk to the park nearby and walk around the perimeter of the park and back home–About a mile and a half total walking distance and the therapist feels that I can do that very soon, though taking it slowly, resting from time to time during the walk.    My walk yesterday took me to where I would cross the street to enter the park.   She has challenged me that the first day the temperature gets to 60 degrees by lunchtime, I should pack a small lunch or snack, grab the walker and take off for the park, stopping to rest and eat lunch about halfway around the park.  That could happen this week looking at the forecast! 

Best thing is I am no longer needing to use narcotic pain killers!   I hate taking those things.  Down to arthritis strength Tylenol and resting between activities and I can now drive so I will be getting together again with my Bible study group on Wednesday and hopefully I can master the stairs at church next  Sunday to attend morning service.  Easter Sunday, my goal is to be at church for Sunday school and morning services both. 

Well before I totally bore you to death with my “exciting” life,   please let me thank you all once again for your continued prayers and thoughts and your inquiries on how I have been doing. You have made a huge difference in my recovery!  I plan to start blogging again more regularly this week–working on something right now about perseverance which has been coming up a lot the last few days in my devotions and also another subject that has been also appearing a lot too!  

God bless you all, my dear blogging friends.  Love you all!